Residential Photography Business
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Old 04-06-2009   #1
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Default Residential Photography Business

I know the markets are down, way down, but I plan to retire in a couple of years and was thinking I might enjoy taking photo's of realtors listings, both inside and out. Hopefully things will have turned around by then. I have a couple ideas on how to get started, but no idea on what prices I could expect. Anyone here do this type of work and are willing to share your thoughts on the ins and outs of this type of business venture? Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-06-2009   #2
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Default Re: Residential Photography Business

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Originally Posted by Dave R. View Post
I know the markets are down, way down, but I plan to retire in a couple of years and was thinking I might enjoy taking photo's of realtors listings, both inside and out. Hopefully things will have turned around by then. I have a couple ideas on how to get started, but no idea on what prices I could expect. Anyone here do this type of work and are willing to share your thoughts on the ins and outs of this type of business venture? Thanks in advance.
I don 't do this type of work but have seen several threads dealing with Realty photography.

Perhaps using the search feature, if you haven't already, would be helpful.
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Old 04-06-2009   #3
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Take a look at this flickr group, maybe someone there can help you.

Flickr: The Photography for Real Estate Pool
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Old 04-07-2009   #4
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I've looked into this in my area and around here the Realtors would rather take their own listing pictures. Even with being involved in the industry I wasn't picking up anyone on the side that wanted pictures done.
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Old 04-17-2009   #5
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The only thing realtors might not do themselves is the 360 degree pans of real estate. Photographers usually are the only ones who will take the time to learn how to create these (and buy the software).

Otherwise, the market for those room by room, or exterior photos is fairly weak. Realtors can pick up a P&S digital camera and get what is needed by themselves.

Interior designers might be a wiser market to get into. As long as you have some additional lighting experience and can create images to show off their designs in a good "light".

It used to be a good market for photographers to get 8x10 prints in multiple quantities for home builders. A local guy used to have dozens of negatives printed to that size for advertising purposes, and multiple times, for years. Now, those negatives would , and are useless. Now residing in a landfill somewhere. Digital changed everything.

Well, I'm not trying to be Ed Shapiro here, so I won't make this any longer. Besides, I can't come up with more to say like Ed!

PS Ed, if you read this, I still love reading ya!
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Old 04-17-2009   #6
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I would not argue that there isn't much of a market, but the realtors that use a P&S are not dealing in high end properties I should think. In my area, I've been looking at the flyers of various realtors, and it almost makes you want to laugh. A flyer for a high school dance team car wash maybe doesn't need muh quality. A flyer for a 500K home maybe deserves a little extra effort. This kind of market would be very difficult to get going and realize profits, that I'm certain of, but I'm just thinking along the lines of something more as a hobby that may turn a dollar or two. I appreciate all of the comments.
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Old 04-18-2009   #7
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I would not argue that there isn't much of a market, but the realtors that use a P&S are not dealing in high end properties I should think. In my area, I've been looking at the flyers of various realtors, and it almost makes you want to laugh. A flyer for a high school dance team car wash maybe doesn't need muh quality. A flyer for a 500K home maybe deserves a little extra effort. This kind of market would be very difficult to get going and realize profits, that I'm certain of, but I'm just thinking along the lines of something more as a hobby that may turn a dollar or two. I appreciate all of the comments.
You are right Dave. A half-million dollar property deserves better than a buck and a half flyer. There are probably very niche market realtors who handle such high-end property to whom you could demonstrate the value of your work. I think it comes down to the same as all photography projects, either high volume nickle and dime stuff or very limited high-profit work. The marketing and your prefrence are the only differences. Though I don't think I'd go after top-shelf assignments with the hobbiest making a buck attitude. The professional who can facilitate capturing maximum interest in high profit real estate marketing. "Of course Mr. Broker, I realize this venture requires an expense on the front-end (something you aren't used to). Think of it as an investment. How much is this property worth, how much of that value represents your commission, and isn't it worth such a tiny portion to secure that commission? I know in these economic times you want to present everything you do a notch-above your competitor up the street. Isn't it worth a thousand dollars to put nine thousand in your pocket? Shall we set up the shoot for Monday or would the middle of the week on Wednesday afternoon be better?"
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Old 04-24-2009   #8
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We just listed our house. We want to downsize and travel more. We interview several realtors and pick one. The realtor shows up with a $120.00 Wal-Mart P&S. I hand her a DVD of images and say to use these. Our home is on the market for $775K Realtors really don't want to invest $$$$$ into the listing.

When she opened the files on the DVD she called me and said these were outstanding. And see wished more customers gave her images like these. I'm still shaking my head. The good thing is she only has a 90 day listing.
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Old 04-24-2009   #9
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We just listed our house. We want to downsize and travel more. We interview several realtors and pick one. The realtor shows up with a $120.00 Wal-Mart P&S. I hand her a DVD of images and say to use these. Our home is on the market for $775K Realtors really don't want to invest $$$$$ into the listing.

When she opened the files on the DVD she called me and said these were outstanding. And see wished more customers gave her images like these. I'm still shaking my head. The good thing is she only has a 90 day listing.
For the most part I would agree that reraltors do not want to spend money on a listing. The smart ones understand the value of quality marketing. That includes doing as you did, provide potential buyers with a professional presentation of the investment. Good luck with your sale and enjoy the new way of life you seek.
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Old 04-24-2009   #10
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Perhaps it comes down to who is responsible for the extra-mile effort. If the seller is a photographer and can produce pictures that are higher quality than the status quo for real estate marketing, isn't it in his best interest to make them? Bang your head all you want that there are people who do not value high quality photography, its not going to change. Of course the agent wishes every client would provide eye-catching pictures. No, an agent isn't going to spend an extra few hundred dollars on pictures, not without a great deal of education and selling. If you are the seller and you make YOUR property stand out I wonder why you'd want to give that edge away. Wait until after your property sells, then go back and work a deal. Until that success can be demonstrated you really don't have much more than the conventional speculation involved in real estate.


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